October 2, 2022

Volume XII, Number 275


September 30, 2022

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Increased Penalties for Immigration-Related Violations

The U.S. Department of Justice has issued a new rule increasing penalties against employers for various immigration-related violations. The new penalty structure applies to civil penalties assessed after August 1, 2016, whose associated violations occurred after November 2, 2015.

Given the significant increase in penalties for immigration-related violations, employers should use particular care when dealing with I-9 form completion and other immigration-related employment processes and practices. We recommend that all employers perform an annual internal I-9 audit and consider periodic I-9 audits by third parties. Please refer to our prior alert as guidance when performing internal I-9 audits.

The penalty structure for first violations is set forth below. Increased penalties for repeat violations are also in effect.

New and Old Penalty Comparison

Type of Violation

Old Penalty Structure

New Penalty Structure

I-9 Verification Paperwork

$110 - $1,110

$216 - $2,156

Unlawful Employment of Unauthorized Workers

$375 - $3,200

$539 - $4,313

Unfair Employment Practices (Includes Discrimination)

$375 - $445

$3,200 - $3,563

Unfair Employment Practices (Document Abuse)

$110 - $1,100

$178 - $1,782

H-1B Violations (Includes Filing Fees Paid by Employee, LCA Public Access File Violations)

Maximum $1,000

Maximum $1,782

H-1B Violations (Includes Discrimination, Willful Failure Pertaining to Wages/Working Conditions)

Maximum $5,000

Maximum $7,251

H-1B Violations (Includes Certain Displacement of U.S. Workers)

Maximum $35,000

Maximum $50,758

H-2B Violations (Includes Failure to Pay Wages, Unlawful Termination)

Maximum $10,000

Maximum $11,940

©2022 MICHAEL BEST & FRIEDRICH LLPNational Law Review, Volume VI, Number 232

About this Author

Kelly M. Fortier, Michael Best Law Firm, Business immigration, Attorney

Kelly helps employers of all sizes meet their staffing needs by handling the immigration issues they face in hiring foreign nationals and moving employees around the globe.

A partner in the firm’s Labor and Employment Relations practice group and Co-chair of the Immigration and International Migration team, she handles compliance issues for corporations that transfer dozens of employees into and out of the United States each year as well as small companies seeking to bring in a few key hires from abroad.

Kelly is highly...

Jose Olivieri, Michael Best Law Firm, Higher Education, Labor and Immigration Attorney
Partner, Industry Group Chair

José is the founder and co-chair of Michael Best’s immigration law practice. Clients depend on his deep knowledge of and experience with U.S. immigration law and employment-based immigration matters, including:

  • Immigration status

  • Permanent labor certification

  • National interest waiver

  • Adjustment of status

  • Consular processing

  • Citizenship and...

Kelly Rourke, Michael Best Law Firm, Immigration and Employment Attorney

Kelly assists employers with administrative law matters, focusing her practice primarily on employment-based immigration.

She regularly helps clients meet critical staffing needs by obtaining nonimmigrant status for foreign workers and securing and maintaining legal permanent residence for foreign nationals. To this end, she handles an array of nonimmigrant petitions, applications for labor certification, adjustment of status and naturalization filings, consular processing matters, motions to reopen, and motions to reconsider. She also...